What does it mean to be present in this hyper-connected, fast-moving, multi-responsibility, technologically-advanced, distraction-based, ever-evolving, multi-tasking, dollar-driven, multi-focused world that we live in? That’s a hard question, with a very simple answer.
The simple answer is “Be Present!”
Present is defined as being, existing, or occurring at this time or now; at hand; immediate or current.
To be present is to focus on the here and now. To give focused and undivided attention at the current moment or place that you find yourself. This is easy to get away from and takes focused attention to make it happen. A few things that I do to try and be present are:
- I finish all cell-phone conversations before I go into my house, on the drive, in the garage… but not in the house.
- I try to complete all assignments, tasks, appt.’s between 8-5 and not allow them to carry over into family time.
- I put everything on my calendar, in order to make sure my priorities are straight and look back and see what kind of undivided attention I gave people, places & things.
- I answer e-mails in divided chunks of the day and not as they come in.
- I like to plan; however I embrace the tension of not looking too far ahead and I rarely look back.
I could go on an on with things that I’m trying to do in order to stay focused and be present; however the bottom line is it takes focused effort. If you don’t focus on being present, you won’t.
The theme of this years Catalyst Conference in Atalanta is Be Present. Not just be present as in attendance, but rather focusing on being present in our lives. I will be present and personally I’m looking forward to hearing the list of great speakers. I will definitely be present when Dr. Cornell West speaks.